Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is a classic comfort food enjoyed around the world, known for its warm, savory flavors and often associated with feelings of home and wellness. It’s particularly popular as a home remedy for the common cold. Making chicken noodle soup from scratch is rewarding, and it can be made with a variety of ingredients according to personal tastes or dietary needs. Here’s a simple recipe to make traditional chicken noodle soup:

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 cups chicken broth (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 pound (about 450 grams) chicken breast or thighs, skinless and boneless
  • 2 cups egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • Optional: 1 bay leaf, juice of ½ lemon, additional herbs or vegetables as preferred

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Vegetables and Chicken:
    • Dice the onion, slice the carrots and celery, and mince the garlic.
    • Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces or leave it whole if you prefer to shred it later.
  2. Sauté the Vegetables:
    • In a large pot, heat the olive oil or butter over medium heat.
    • Add the diced onion, sliced carrots, and celery.
    • Sauté until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.
    • Add the minced garlic, dried thyme, oregano, salt, and pepper, and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  3. Add the Broth and Chicken:
    • Pour in the chicken broth and add the chicken pieces to the pot. If using, add the bay leaf.
    • Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Cook the Chicken:
    • Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer.
    • If you left the chicken whole, let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until it is cooked through. Then remove it from the pot, shred it with two forks, and set it aside.
    • If you cut the chicken into pieces, it will cook faster, in about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Cook the Noodles:
    • Add the egg noodles to the pot and cook according to the package instructions, usually about 6-8 minutes, until al dente.
  6. Finish the Soup:
    • If you shredded the chicken, return it to the pot.
    • Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt, pepper, and herbs as needed.
    • If desired, add a squeeze of lemon juice for a bit of acidity.
    • Stir in the fresh parsley.
  7. Serve:
    • Ladle the soup into bowls.
    • Serve hot, with additional parsley or herbs on top if desired.

Tips and Variations:

  • For a Thicker Soup: Some prefer a slightly thicker broth, which you can achieve by mixing a tablespoon of cornstarch with cold water and adding it to the soup, letting it simmer until it reaches the desired consistency.
  • Adding Pasta: If you add pasta, remember that it will continue to absorb the broth if left in the pot, which can make leftovers thick and less soupy. Cook the noodles separately and add them to individual servings if you anticipate having a lot of soup left over.
  • Vegetable Variations: Feel free to add more vegetables like potatoes, peas, or spinach.
  • Alternative Cooking Methods: This soup can also be made in a slow cooker or Instant Pot.
  • Storing and Reheating: Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat gently on the stove or in the microwave, adding additional broth if necessary.

Enjoy your homemade chicken noodle soup with a side of crackers, crusty bread, or a light salad!

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